Slovak currency was to be stabilised in conformity with Russia. Their
railway, motor-roads and air lines were to be constructed to meet the
economic needs of both countries. This Czechoslovakia of Dr. Benes>
was to be nothing less., therefore., than the outpost of Russia in the centre
of Europe., stretching practically as far as Bavaria.
In the above Treaty, Moscow was also clearly expressing its intentions
towards Poland. The Protocol to this pact contained the clause :—
" The U.S.S.R. and the Czecho-Slovak Republic agree that, in the event
of any third State which has common frontiers with the U.S.S.R., or with
the Czecho-Slovak Republic . . . desiring to become a party to this agree-
ment ... it could be a tripartite agreement."
Moscow had no desire to make a direct proposal to the Polish Govern-
ment, but the Soviet Press, together with the inspired World Press, were
to publish many hints in this direction.
On December 17, 1943, Dziennik Polski in London gave a semi-official
comment on the Polish Government's attitude towards the Soviet-Benes
Treaty, stating that:—
" Poland had not, so far, been invited to participate. She attached
fundamental importance to having friendly relations with Russia and re-
garded them as a vital element towards a broader solution and a system of
general security. The principles of mutual recognition of State sovereignty
and of non-intervention in the State's affairs formed a basis for good neigh-
bourly relations. Principles no less important for Poland should, however,
be added to them. These were (1) liberty, independence, and integrity of
the State ; (2) general security ; (3) loyalty to the alliances already concluded;
(4) good-neighbourly relations with Russia; (5) co-operation between the
smaller European States, to protect them from German hegemony."
Polish reluctance to become part of so vaguely worded a Pact which, in
the subsequent agreements, was to mean the absorption of the weaker
partner, met with a wave of dissatisfaction from Moscow. Dr. Benes'
Provisional Government was to be remoulded according to the designs
of the Kremlin, and Communist Ministers were to be introduced into the
most prominent positions. In Bohemia, the concluded Treaty encoun-
tered protests, not only from the constitutional Government of Hacha,
which still existed, but from those people who did not want to change their
present system of life into the Soviet order. Slovakia quite simply
recorded that Dr. Benes did not represent their nation and had no right
to conclude any agreement on her behalf.*
* Such was the Statement of the Slovakian Government and analogous with it was
the opinion of the Slovak National Council in London., as expressed in their open
letter to His Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Anthony Eden
(January, 1944). They stated :
^" It is against justice and against the spirit and letter of the Atlantic Charter to
bind the Slovak people by international treaties concluded in their names and on
their behalf by unauthorised negotiators whose chief aim is to get domination over
Slovakia again. In view of aH these facts the Slovak people cannot feel themselves
to be bound by the Treaty signed in Moscow on December 12t|i? 1943."